Vernon’s LED conversion project illuminates $75K light study

1,200 streetlights to be updated to LED technology saving money on electrical bill in the long run

The City of Vernon will update 1,200 streetlights to LED technology which will save an estimated $58,500 on the electrical bill each year.

Currently, the electrical bill for these 1,200 lights is around $87,000 annually. With the switch to the LED lights, the bill should plummet to $28,500.

The project, which includes a lighting study, is estimated to cost the city $717,000, but the funds used from the Casino Reserves are expected to be replenished from the electrical savings in 12 years.

The lighting study alone will cost the city $75,000, but city staff say the findings will be beneficial.

Coun. Brian Quiring said he’s all for the transition to LED lights but can’t understand why the study is necessary.

“This has been done in so many communities before,” he said during the council meeting on Oct. 28. “It seems like a lot of money for this, especially when there are so many precedents.”

The lighting study will examine projected light and take into consideration angles and reflections. The study will also include lights on BC Hydro poles and “provide a uniform approach and an optimization of lamp use,” the report reads.

Two City of Vernon signal traffic technicians will perform the replacements over the spring and fall of 2020. The work is expected to take five weeks for each phase.

The 1,637 lights leased from BC Hydro will not be replaced at this time, although the utility has advised it has recently committed to converting its own lights across British Columbia. The program is expected to commence in 2020 and be completed in about three years.

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